ENDF General pledges Ethiopia's commitment to help Somalia defeat Al-Shabaab
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - The government of Ethiopia will continue supporting Somalia to overcome security challenges including but not limited to the war against Al-Shabaab, with the two countries pledging close cooperation for the sake of stability in the Horn of Africa region which has been facing a myriad of predicaments.
Field Marshal Birhanu Jula, the Chief of General Staff of Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] close security cooperation between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu is necessary, adding that the two nations will mutually benefit from bilateral ties. He discussed cooperation with Somalia's defense minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Jama.
The ENDF chief lauded Ethiopian forces for the significant role played in international and regional peacekeeping missions, especially in Somalia where Addis Ababa has close to 4,500 soldiers. The ENDF man Sectors III and VI of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS].
For years, ENDF troops have helped Somalia to put Al-Shabaab at bay besides liberating various strategic towns in the Horn of Africa nation. The ENDF actions at some point motivated the militants to try to cross over to Ethiopia in August but their attempts were thwarted following Ethiopia's immediate response.
Commending the peace dividend gained through the sacrifices, the Chief of Staff reiterated Ethiopia’s support in the fight against Al-Shabab. Al-Shabaab controls large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia but has lost significantly following the decision by Somalia to activate operations against the militants.
Field Marshal Birhanu Jula further affirmed the commitment of the Ethiopian Defense Forces to provide capacity-building support to the army and other security forces of Somalia. The Ethiopian troops were the first to dethrone Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu in 2007 when they were first dispatched.
On his part, Abdikadir Mohamed Nur Jama lauded Addis Ababa for the continued support of the country in the war against Al-Shabaab, noting that both parties should closely cooperate. He also updated the General on the milestones achieved in the fight against Al-Shabaab in the last four months when the operation was launched by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.